The growth of GT racing in Australia will continue into 2017 with the introduction of new teams and cars into both the CAMS Australian GT Championship and CAMS Australian Endurance Championship.
With all 2017 motorsport calendars set to be finalized over the coming weeks, Australian GT officials are planning to announce the Australian GT Championship comprising of at least four rounds, including a mixture of marquee events, as well as events not previously attended by the championship.
Following the success of the inaugural Australian Endurance Championship in 2016, another four-round schedule will see GT racing once again take centre stage with long distance races next season.
The Endurance Championship will continue to include PRO/AM and AM/AM driver combinations however will feature a simplified driver grading system, akin to the system employed in GT racing internationally.
The current driver seeding system, which sees time added to the pit stops, has also been reviewed and will be replaced by limiting the possible PRO and AM driver combinations.
Australian GT Manager, Ken Collier, is also looking to offer manufacturers increased event exposure and exciting activation opportunities which could see their road vehicle customers not only attend events but experience the circuit for themselves.
“We know that the fan base for GT racing is very broad and all car manufacturers who have a link to motorsport need to get a return on investment,” Collier explained.
“The local manufacturers have done very well over decades of association with the various touring car championships, and our manufacturers should be using GT racing as part of their marketing programs.”
The recent news of Nissan joining the Australian GT Championship and Australian Endurance Championship is yet another welcome addition, increasing the rich diversity on a grid which sees many of the world’s leading automotive brands represented.
“We have been talking to Nissan this year about the GT-R NISMO GT3 which they retained in Australia after this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour event,” Collier said.
“To have Nissan represented in the Australian GT events is very exciting for us and I am sure that there will be a huge increase in interest for Australian GT through the enormous fan base the Nissan Academy has established.
“The Kellys have been deeply involved in motorsport for a number of years, and to have them now as part of the Australian GT family is a privilege and reflects the opportunities that GT racing presents in Australia.
“With even more Nissan race cars coming into Australia, and possibly New Zealand, the Nissan field will be bigger in Australian GT than any other race series globally.”
The final two rounds of this year’s Australian Endurance Championship takes competitors to New Zealand for the inaugural Hampton Downs 101 (October 28-30), followed two weeks later by the Highlands 101.
Highlands will also host the final round of the Australian GT Championship, making for an exciting weekend of racing with two one-hour races on Saturday (November 11) and 101-laps of high octane GT action to round out the season on Sunday (November 12).